Sept. 13, 2013
SAN DIEGO (SMU) - The Mustangs built a 13-11 lead in the fifth set, but were unable slam the door, falling 15-13 to San Francisco in the fifth set, starting the Aztec Invitational with a 3-2 loss (25-21, 27-29, 27-25, 21-25, 15-13). Four Mustangs finished with at least 10 kills, but the Dons stole the spotlight with two players scoring 21 kills.
Abbey Bybel led SMU (5-3) with 17 kills and recorded seven digs, and Caroline Young finished with 16 kills. Freshman Kristen Stehling scored 11 kills in four sets, and Maddie Lozano blasted 10 kills. Avery Acker posted her third double-double of the season with 55 assists and 15 digs, and Morgan Heise led the team with 16 digs.
In the deciding set, SMU was the first to eight points, forcing the change of sides when freshmen Stehling and Janelle Giordano combined for a block. SMU scored three of the next four points for an 11-8 lead. The lead was still two, 13-11, but the Dons (2-5) used an SMU misplay to spark a four-point run to win the match. Giordano finished with eight blocks, with SMU posting 13.5 as a team.
SMU forced a fifth set with a 25-21 win in the fourth set. After San Francisco erased a three-point SMU lead, tying the score 18-18, the Mustangs scored six of the last eight points for a 25-21 victory. SMU had four blocks and 20 digs in the set, and Maddie Lozano led the offensive attack with four kills.
The Mustangs rallied from down seven, erasing a 23-16 deficit to take a 25-24 lead, scoring five straight points with the Dons sitting on 24 points. Stehling served for five SMU points before her serve on SMU's only attempt at a set point came up short and bounced back into the SMU side of the court. The error tied the score, 25-25, and San Francisco scored the next two to take a 2-1 lead in the match with the 27-25 win.
The Dons fought off five set points, tying the score on four of them, before SMU was finally able to even the match with a 29-27 victory in the second set. Before the Mustangs were in a position to serve for the set, they had to erase a 19-15 deficit, battling back to tie the score 20-20. Stehling was the spark for SMU, scoring four kills on five attacks on SMU's last 10 points of the set.
In the first set, the Mustangs took an early 9-6 lead, but San Francisco went on an 8-2 run for a three-point lead of its own, 14-11. SMU got to within one point four times, but was never able to even the score. Down one, 18-17, the Dons began to extend the lead en route to a 25-21 win.
SMU plays Harvard at 12 p.m. CT on Saturday, before wrapping up action in San Diego against Northeastern Saturday night at 7 p.m. CT.